Myrtle Beach, S.C. (WPDE) — School officials with the Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach say Friday was a historic day for their school.
The school received a certification through the South Carolina Independent Schools Association (SCISA) for their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program.
School officials say they're the first SCISA school to apply for and receive this STEM certification.
"What an honor," said Katherine Cannon, head of the school, during the assembly.
Students, faculty and staff gathered in the gymnasium to recognize their accomplishment, as Larry Watt, the SCISA executive director, presented them with the certification.
"The evaluators found that this school has successfully and seamlessly integrated STEM standards throughout their K-12 curriculum. Additionally, the school has developed a high degree of staff collaboration, cross-curricular projects, and critical thinking skills," said Watts in a release.
Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach is one of nearly 120 schools across the state who are in the SCISA program.
Joy Perry, the school's STEM coordinator, says this certification is a proud accomplishment of their kindergarten through 12th grade STEM program they've worked hard at for the last several years.
"We have really tried to formalize within our classroom, within our teacher lesson plans and also too realizing that a piece of it is it's not just these four walls," explained Perry, about their STEM program. "STEM has got to connect to the real world. You have to give authentic problems to students and give them the openness to try and solve them and that failure is part of it. And that failure is really a success because then you know what doesn't work and to teach them how to deal with failure and to spring board that into a success."
Perry says the first step in receiving this certification was making sure all of their teachers understood what STEM is and how they can incorporate it into their classrooms. They then encouraged teachers to have at least two STEM related projects each quarter for students.
"Our students will be continually challenged with 21st century skills using new problem-solving strategies, working together as collaborative teams, and reaching out to community members in an attempt to solidify workplace-related skills, all while fusing faith with education. This is truly an honor for us all," said Cannon, in a release.